Netflix’s Like Flowers in Sand is a sport, romance, and investigation-themed drama that centers around the story of a ssireum athlete, Kim BaekDu (Jang DongYoon), and detective Oh DuSik (Lee JuMyoung) as they solve the murder case that happens in their childhood. Let’s review what the drama has given us!
Daily Life of Ssireum Athletes
The drama immediately presented us with the main theme in its opening act with BaekDu’s long walk from the athlete’s room to the stadium. But after the show’s title appeared, the scene cuts to the awkward photo op of the male lead with his co-ssireum player DongSeok (Kim TaeJung).
Generally, most of the athletes’ scenes scream deja vu from other sport-themed dramas – if not expected. But one may find it enlightening that weight is a significant requirement before ssireum athletes can compete. Not that it matters, but the weight scene was romantic, touching, and comedic.
It’s hard not to notice that BaekDu’s free time as an athlete is somewhat fragile, as people in his town can’t seem to last a minute to nag him about his training. Assuming that real-life athletes experience the same proves that the drama did a good job of educating viewers about athletes’ difficulties in taking a break.
Relatable Setbacks in Career
The uncontrollable feeling of discouragement due to failures, competing for a job, shifting careers, assuming that the job you want is easy, and finding ways to earn money were presented in a comical and nonchalant expression from the characters, which makes those challenges seem to be smaller than how they appear.
Each main lead has a secret style of investigation. But they teamed up as soon as they discovered each others’ shenanigans. This scene may have reminded us of Stranger Things’ bathtub episode.
Speculations and suspicions are the bulk of investigation scenes. Thus, there were not many action scenes. The clues found from various sources such as DongSeok, middle-aged people, videotapes, and phones are (more or less) impractical since the deduction skills of the main leads were realistic.
Perhaps the wisest part of this drama is the slo-mo build-up of suspicion toward this leader of middle-aged men (at least that’s what he appeared to be since he always starts and ends the group’s conversation.) The clues are related to him: he looked apprehensive during his interrogations, he is at the place of the clues, and one of his peers was the last person to see CheolYong alive. Even some of the main leads already suspect him as the culprit – Yet he wasn’t. This false alarm strikes a chord in our tendency to see the evidence of our judgments as we would like them to be, not what they actually are.
This arc tickles 90’s kids’ memories of being carefree and adventurous while playing outdoor games with their peers. Thanks to the impeccable acting of the young actors, we are able to reminisce about the comical feeling we felt with our childhood friends. But the children’s acting was not the only one who helped relived that humorous feeling – the vintage filter of the screen and the oversized clothing of the kids also contributed to the childhood nostalgia.
No kabedon moves, no mind games, no acting demure and no keeping scores. Well, if there are few of them, it’s not cringey and irritating since BaekDu and DuSik are comfortable with each other.
Left and Right Gossips of Middle Age People
This arc has lots of screen time in the drama. Both men and women were hilarious as they discussed the issues of their town, but men are funnier whenever they act united, dedicated, and punctual when gossiping.
Impeccable acting of Jang DongYoon and Lee JooSeung
If the show’s creators designed BaekDu and SeokHee’s disposition as childlike, then Jang DongYoon and Lee JuSeung were able to bring their assigned characters to life as one can truly feel the child’s essence in them. The positive vibes they brought us were the cherry on top of the show.
Featured Image Credit: ENA Official Twitter